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Mixed feelings about the crazy preacher guy

August 18, 2008

Out on the Quad today my friend Pete and I saw a tumult of students and walked over for a closer look.  There on a high perch was The Crazy Preacher Guy, in his bright blue shirt and red suspenders and bow tie, handsome gray hair and rugged features, waving a bible and preaching against sin, I guess.  He reminded me of Robert Duvall in The Apostle.

From what I could make out he was energetically preaching the usual guff about The Second Coming and about how God would send sinners to hell – homosexuals, fornicators, abortioners, drunkards and whatnot.  Pretty much nonsense and certainly worthy of the mockery he was receiving from the crowd. And yet…
 
And yet I felt bad for him.  Somebody sprayed water on him and he paused for a moment, and kept going.  Even the crazy have a right to be secure from assault.  He was delivering a message of crucial importance, by his lights, but in a totally ineffective way. 

The whole unseemly spectacle just seemed kind of… sad.  From the time I lived in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, I knew quite a few guys like him.  And they lay awake nights worrying about lost souls.  Disagree with them, think they’re nuts, but they really did care. 

Categories: Religion
  1. August 18, 2008 at 23:09 | #1

    I’ve always felt that being nuts like this is already enough punishment. I much prefer to give weirdos wide berth and a crowd of hecklers is not something I want to be part of, either.

    Sad just about covers it.

  2. August 19, 2008 at 08:57 | #2

    I despise “Jesus Shouters.” I also think assaulting them in any way is bogus.

    For the first time ever this year, we saw (and heard!) a “Jesus Shouter” at Waterfire.

    I never feel sorry for people who inflict themselves and their ideas on others. At bottom, I think they are crazy.

  3. james old guy
    August 19, 2008 at 13:44 | #3

    Strange isn’t it. Hard core believers and hard core non- believers both dedicated to conversion.

  4. Lucas
    August 19, 2008 at 13:50 | #4

    At the beginning of the school year, there are frequently people passing out copies of the New Testament on campuses.  They can sometimes be a bit pushy, but I found that just saying “I’ve already found the truth” to be an effective deterrent.  It also has the advantage of not involving lying.  I believe that I’ve found the truth, it just differs from their “truth”.

    As for the crazy shouters, I certainly don’t like them, but being violent against people who disagree with you is not a valid way of getting your point across in a free society.

  5. August 19, 2008 at 22:51 | #5

    Strange isn’t it. Hard core believers and hard core non- believers both dedicated to conversion.

    Well except it’s not a battle between atheists and a Bible Thumper. It’s a war of words between religious people that do not want to be grouped with this guy and… well… the guy. I will say there were likely some atheists there, but it’s not just them that do not appreciate the message the guy sends.

    BTW, if I’m not mistaken his moniker is “Preacher Dan”.

    I have seen this guy in action and was going to ask him some questions but someone beat me to the punch. A crowd started forming and there was a very reasonable, courteous, and thought provoking debate. I had to rush to work but the worst I saw was some boos. But the crowd let the Guy speak at least.

    The thing about assaulting the “crazy” guy is it does give him sympathy and helps his argument. People need to stop giving this guy a forum by giving him attention. Just pass him by and let him be. The less interest he gets the less likely he will be to keep coming to the same spot.

  6. August 20, 2008 at 06:53 | #6

    My post today, Aug. 20, includes a bit of language and a picture on this Jesus-shouter subject.

  7. Joe
    August 23, 2008 at 05:27 | #7

    I agree. Its sad to see people assault this crazy guy with water. And, ignoring him is the best way to go.

  8. August 27, 2008 at 06:18 | #8

    I guess he was expecting to be mocked, but he was doing what he believes he should do for God. That is his mission. In a way, he should be admired.

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